Education, experience, tenure, and certification are some of the key factors, according to a survey of 5,000 members of the American Industrial Hygiene Association. Association Research, Inc., conducted the survey for AIHA in the summer of 2000, and 1,724 members completed and returned the mail questionnaire, for a 34.5 percent response rate.

Let’s take a look at industrial hygienists whose primary job is management / administration. As of January 1, 2000, $77,778 was the average salary among 817 industrial hygienists with this responsibility. Twenty-five percent of the respondents earned $60,333 or less, and 75 percent earned $90,750 or less.

The average salary for females was substantially less than that of males ($69,577 versus $80,472), but gender alone may not be the reason. The average salary based on education ranged from $68,594 for a BS or BA compared with $96,032 for respondents with a DrPH or PhD.

Also, the average salary for managers/administrators varied considerably based on company size and current employer. Those with the Certified Industrial Hygiene certification averaged $85,420 — $7,642 more than the overall mean. The Professional Engineer (PE) certification provided the greatest premium, an average salary of $95,166 — but this is based only on 29 respondents in management/administration.

Researchers say the most positive pay correlations across virtually all job functions surveyed were years at current employer and number of people supervised. For most industrial hygienists there is a real pay premium for staying at the same employer and taking on supervisory responsibilities.